Jnr World Cup hockey: Spain beat India in bronze playoff, Germany champs - Hindustan Times
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Jnr World Cup hockey: Spain beat India in bronze playoff, Germany champs

By, New Delhi
Dec 16, 2023 09:43 PM IST

The twice former winners equalised, but eventually lost 1-3 in the bronze medal playoff; Germany beat France 2-1 in the final, in Kuala Lumpur

It was the same story all over again. Just like the semi-final where they lost 1-4 to Germany, the Indian hockey team was profligate again on Saturday as it lost the Junior World Cup bronze medal playoff 1-3 to Spain to finish fourth for a second successive time.

India lost to Spain in the bronze medal match.(Hockey India)
India lost to Spain in the bronze medal match.(Hockey India)

Skipper Uttam Singh, who was part of the squad that finished fourth in Bhubaneswar two years back, had hoped to lead India to their fourth podium finish in the tournament's history but he and his teammates will return empty- handed from Kuala Lumpur.

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Nicolas Alvarez (25th min, 51st) was Spain's hero by scoring a brace while Pau Petchame (40th) also sounded the board. Sunil Jojo (28th) had equalised for India. India had also lost the group stage match to Spain, 1-4. This is the second time Spain have stood on the podium, having beaten India to claim the bronze at Rotterdam in 2005.

Like Thursday’s semi-final, India reached Spain's striking circle 14 times but lacked finishing, failing to convert their half chances. The CR Kumar-coached side were wasteful in penalty corners (PC) too as they converted only of their nine attempts.

The contest at the Bulkit Jalil National Hockey Stadium was delayed by an hour due to torrential rain. Understandably, the start was slow which made both the teams cagey. But Spain maintained possession using a tactical half press and were easily able to dispossess India.

Continuous possession, smart play and opportunistic moves into the Indian circle earned Spain 14 shots on goal, three of which crucially went in. Though India goalkeeper HS Mohith tried his best, failures of the defence cost India dear.

A fantastic run down the left by Alvarez, who hit a reverse shot, handed Spain the lead. A solid individual run by Amandeep earned India a PC three minutes before half-time and Jojo converted from a rebound to level the contest.

The third quarter was more evenly fought as the tempo of the game increased but a well-crafted goal by Petchame handed Spain the lead again. While Mohith was solid in saving two PCs in the final quarter, Alvarez’s reverse strike was the final nail in the coffin for India.

Germany win World Cup

Germany beat France 2-1 in an absorbing final to win their seventh title in 13 editions. Goals from Jan Cordes (32nd) and Liam Holdermann (40th) goals were enough for Germany to beat their neighbours for whom Jules Verrier (17th) had given the lead. Germany had previously won in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1993, 2009 and 2013. Germany are also the reigning senior world champions, having won in Bhubaneswar in January.

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